Posted by: rcottrill | August 1, 2018

My Sins Are Gone

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Words: N. B. Vandall (b. Dec. 28, 1896; d. Aug. 24, 1970)
Music: N. B. Vandall

Wordwise Hymns (Jack Vandall)
The Cyber Hymnal (Jack Vandall)

Note: Vandall served with the Marines in the First World War, and put his faith in Christ in 1920, at a Christian camp in Ohio. He and his wife Margaret had four sons. He went on to serve the Lord as an evangelist and gospel singer, writing quite a number of gospel songs himself, including the lovely After, written after a serious accident involving one of their sons. And there’s My Home Sweet Home, as well as his 1934 testimony song, My Sins Are Gone.

To change your name can be a complicated business, but it doesn’t usually cost a lot of money. In Canada, you can do it for $137. In the United States, the fee is anywhere from $150 to $500.

The question is, why would someone go to the trouble of doing that? Sometimes, it’s a matter of breaking a disturbing association with the past. Other times, it’s to pick a name that’s easier to pronounce, or something not so odd. (I once met a woman whose given name was Summer Worm. That must have brought her a lot of grief!)

A third reason for a name change is that the old name may not suit the individual’s new life. This has happened many times with movie stars. We think of actor John Wayne as a swaggering macho hero. But his original first name, Marion, might not fit that image. Neither did romantic actor Cary Grant seem to suit his given name Archie Leech. Nor does the name Leonard Slye seem as appealing as Roy Rogers.

There’s a gospel song writer who had a name problem too. It doesn’t seem that N. B. Vandall ever legally changed his name, but he called himself Jack Vandall to get away from what his parents christened him, Napoleon Bonaparte Vandall. The reason for their choice is not known. Napoleon had been dead for seventy-five years when Jack was born, and he has far from a sterling reputation in history.

Through faith in Christ, Jack Vandall had a kind of name change with eternal consequences: the Sinner (Rom. 3:23) became a Saint (I Cor. 1:2), the child of wrath (Eph. 2:3) became a child of God (Jn. 1:12). And one of the most amazing and thrilling things to the song writer was that his sins were gone. Gone! The Bible uses a variety of images to press home this point.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).

“You [God] have cast all my sins behind Your back” (Isa. 38:17).

The Lord says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25).

“You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).

There’s a Roman practice connected with the crucifixion of Christ which is very revealing. Pilate didn’t intend it to illustrate a spiritual truth, but it does. When a condemned person was executed, a signboard was nailed above his head stating the nature of his crimes. This was to serve as a warning to others not to commit the same offense.

However Paul makes a spiritual application of this. When we trust in Christ as Saviour, it’s as though our sins, having been charged against Him, were paid for on the cross. He [God] has taken it [the accusation against us] out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Col. 2:14). Our sins were judged at the cross. They no longer come between the Christian and the Lord. Our debt of sin has been paid in full.

1) You ask why I am happy so I’ll just tell you why,
Because my sins are gone;
And when I meet the scoffers who ask me where they are,
I say, my sins are gone.

They’re underneath the blood, on the cross of Calvary,
As far removed as darkness is from dawn;
In the sea of God’s forgetfulness, that’s good enough for me,
Praise God, my sins are gone.

3) When Satan comes to tempt me and tries to make me doubt,
I say, My sins are gone;
You got me into trouble, but Jesus got me out,
I’m glad my sins are gone.

1) What does it mean to you, today, that your sins are “gone”?

2) What Scriptures have been especially helpful to you when the devil “tries to make [you] doubt”?

Wordwise Hymns (Jack Vandall)
The Cyber Hymnal (Jack Vandall)


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